Mayflower MCC, 23rd Pilgrims Rally, August 1998

When we attended the Shakespeare MCC's last rally, Alls Well That Ends Well in September 1997, Heather MacGregor had promised to send me an invitation to another motorcycle Rally. She kept her word and in early 1998 I received an invitation to the Mayflower MCC's 23rd Pilgrims Rally.

This year none of my motorcycling friends had time to go to England with me, because they had to work, or a family vacation was planned. So, on Friday morning, August 7th, I set off on my BMW K100RS in the direction of England. From Calais to Dover on the Hoover Craft.

During the Shakespeare Rally times I still had to travel about 300km from Dover to Warwickshire. The invitation for the Pilgrims Rally was at Basildon, Kingston Ridge Scout Camp, Langdon Hills. According to the map, that was only about 120 km. Heather had included a copy of a map detail with the invitation. Once I had left the traffic on the M20/M25, and especially the traffic jam at the Dartford Tunnel, and was off the motorway onto the country road, I was able to drive a bit more relaxed.

Arriving in Basildon, I did one or two laps of honour here until I found the small road to the Scout Camp. I was very excited about what was to come. May the Mayflower members forgive me. Although I could not imagine that Heather invited me to a rocker meeting, but you never know. However, while I was setting up my tent, I was greeted warmly and cordially by Secretary Paula Fidge. Then Paul Mullis came to me and took me under his wing. I was amazed at how many familiar faces there were. I knew many participants from the Shakespeare rallies. I immediately felt at ease.

It was a hot weekend, and I was happy about any cooling, be it the water taps on the camping meadow or the delicious cold pints. The food from breakfast to dinner prepared by the scouts was also good. Saturday I had a little ride round to Burnham-on-Crouch and Southend-on-Sea.

I spent Saturday evening socializing in the marquee.

I received an award from Chairman Graham Butler for Long Distance Continental on Sunday morning after the raffle.

My return journey, just like the outward one, went without complications. At our next motorcycle regulars' table, I raved about this weekend to my motorcycle friends. Many were enthusiastic and wanted to take part next year. In the same year, my motorcycle friend Axel Bodeit and I became members of the Mayflower MCC through the sponsorship of Heather MacGregor and Keith Jackson.

- Hans Mondorf